The use of electroencephalographic recordings (EEG) for anaesthesia monitoring is a rather new approach to ensure an adequate level of anaesthesia. The EEG provides information regarding the target organ of anaesthesia, the brain, instead of relying on conventional indicators like blood pressure and heart rate. Thus, monitoring the EEG can help to navigate anaesthesia and to avoid too light or too deep levels of anaesthesia that may lead to intraoperative awareness or postoperative neurocognitive disorders. However, analysis of the EEG requires background knowledge in engineering or mathematics. Thus, many clinicians rely on tools that can help to evaluate the EEG, so they can participate in EEG-based research, which is necessary to further investigate anaesthetic-induced changes on the EEG.
This paper describes the development of a MATLAB-based visualisation and analysis tool for EEG recordings. The tool contains a collection of multiple algorithms to check the quality of the recording and calculate different parameters and trend data. There are two algorithms to detect amplitude and clipping artefacts. It is also possible to display the density spectral array (DSA) of the EEG, which is the foundation for most EEG analysis. Furthermore, the tool includes an algorithm to detect clinically relevant burst suppression patterns. Additionally, it is able to plot the trend of four different parameters, which correlate with changes in the level of consciousness. All those functions are packed into a single graphical user interface, so that no previous experience with MATLAB is necessary. Thus, the tool facilitates further research regarding the relationship between the EEG together with derived parameters and external influences on the brain like anaesthesia.
Regarding the development of the tool, an object oriented approach has been used, so that is possible to easily extend it with additional parameters and plots.